Local program offers reading for kids and kitties

PHOENIX, Ore.– A new reading program has young kids enjoying their favorite books with the help of some friendly, furry company. Known as the Kitty Enrichment Reading Program, this monthly event helps both kids and kittens.

Held at the Jackson County Animal Services in Phoenix, the idea is to help kids read while providing a relaxing, social atmosphere for the cats to enjoy.

“Our main focus is on helping cats be more adoptable by making sure that they are used to being around kids and families,” said Sara Burt, creator of the event. “Will help them be more likely to be adopted later on.”

Burt designed the program back in February. As a reading specialist with Talent Elementary School and a volunteer with Friends of the Animal Shelter – combining the two was only natural.

“I enjoy reading and enjoy kids and enjoy the cats so it all kind of came together,” she said.

Now once a month, children and their parents can come read and say hello to all the kitties but sometimes that just not enough.

“I’ve definitely wanted, I wanted to adopt that whole room,” said one young girl named Ryder. She and her friend Lily have been to several of the reading days. Even though they have cats of their own, it seems reading only happens for those at the shelter.

“I’ve never tried,” said Ryder. “They’re always in my bed when I go to my bed to read though.”

They’re never really calm,” said Lily in agreement.

Still, for these kitties, it’s nice to have people willing to help ensure they find happiness and a forever home.

“It’s just that mix of the two things that I love so much,” said Burt. “Just cats and reading. It’s just a good mix and I just like seeing families come in and spend time here too.”

The next event is scheduled for Sunday, July 7 at 11 a.m. To learn more you can visit the Facebook event page here.

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